TRAI’s New Pricing Rules For DTH and Cable TV is Announced – What it Means to Cable TV Operators and Consumers?

TRAI new pricing rule cable operators

In a major ruling by TRAI, now cable TV consumers across India are going to pay for the channels which they really watch. This order has been passed by the Supreme court of India, though it was on a hold for a while.

TRAI’s new Rule for Cable TV & DTH – What this Ruling Really Mean to Consumer?

The first change that an average consumer will notice is their monthly bill is set to be cheaper than that are now and they pay for the channels that they opt for. To keep consumers engaged with the new bundles, broadcasters will have to ensure that they push new and exciting content or suffer the wrath of a bored customer.

cable tv

What does this Ruling mean to Cable TV Broadcasters?

Broadcasters Will Set MRP For Channels

In a number of ways, these regulations will ease the burden on consumers’ pockets. First and foremost, broadcasters like ZEE Network, Sony Entertainment Television, and the likes will be responsible for setting the prices of these channels and not the distributors i.e. DTH operators like Tata Sky or cable providers. Therefore, broadcasters are obligated to set maximum retail prices (MRP) for each channel and distributors will not be able to sell these channels for higher than the MRP.

Standard Free-to-Air Package For All Providers

Secondly, users will get 100 “free-to-air” channels in standard definition, which include Doordarshan, Star Bharat, and Zee Anmol. But these channels are not exactly free and users will have to pay a minimum operating fee of Rs 130 for these.

No Bundling of Free and Paid Channels

Broadcasters will provide each channel to distributors on an a-la-carte basis. Distributors will be responsible for clubbing channels into relevant bundles but the a-la-carte “pay” channels cannot be combined with free channels. Moreover, standard and high definition channels must be offered in separate bundles.

Separate SD and HD Bundles

Channels which are priced more than Rs 19 on a-la-carte basis cannot be bundled with other channels and must be offered to the user individually. This will save the user from the burden of having to buy an entire bundle or a “bouquet” of premium channels just to enjoy a single channel. Under the new rules, SD channels cannot be bundled with HD channels from the same broadcaster, so you are not paying twice for the same paid channel.

The motive behind the move is to deter DTH and cable operators from imposing such “bouquets” on consumers in an attempt to sell unpopular channels with the popular ones. This act helps the unwanted channels to get pseudo impressions and thus a modest amount of revenue from advertising. “By promoting bundles, not only can they maximize ad revenue of niche channels but the subscription revenue of distributors also goes up, and that is when consumer interest goes for a toss“, a TRAI official told The Ken.

Free Bundles With MRP

Lastly, TRAI has also instructed distributors to make bundles comprising only the free 100 channels so that users, who do not wish to pay more than Rs 130 per month can opt for this. Further, distributors must offer these bundles in multiples of 25, with the maximum rate per 25 standard definition channels capped to a maximum of Rs 20.

When this will Go Into Effect?

The new TRAI guidelines for cable tv will go effect starting from March-2019.

Challenges for Cable TV Operators

Well, with this ruling, cable TV operators will have to update their database for each customer on their channel subscription and a lot of back-office work is involved to make their system compliant to above ruling. Without having a sophisticated cable TV management CRM or Software, it would be really a pain for them to handle the changes manually.

MobiCable is Great Way to Handle the changes Like Above

Our cable TV management system and CRM is a great way to handle changes like above since we have excellent configurable options within the system and updating the customer data and subscription packages is a breeze and cable TV owners can save a substantial amount of time in updating manually.

If you are a cable TV agency or owner and haven’t taken a look at what MobiCable has to offer, please head over to our MobiCable Page to learn more

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Download TRAI’s announcement copy here: PRNo11219112018


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